In situ monitoring of directional solidification experiments on a transparent model alloy was carried out under low gravity in the Directional Solidification Insert of the Device for the Study of Critical Liquids and Crystallization (DECLIC-DSI) on-board the International Space Station. The present work is focused on the analysis of the interface recoil and its macroscopic shape evolution. Theoretically the interface movement is due to the formation of a solute boundary layer in front of the interface. However, the bulk configuration and the thermal specificities of transparent systems induce thermal effects, which are usually not observed in the classical thin sample configuration. Numerical thermal modeling highlights two thermal contributions to the interface recoil, both increasing with pulling rate. The Warren and Langer model is modified to take into account these contributions that modify the interface dynamics, and a good agreement is obtained between the experiments and the modified model.
Research Containing: In situ observation
An in situ observation experiment of faceted cellular growth was carried out using transparent organic alloy, salol – t-butyl alcohol, in microgravity conditions on the International Space Station. The temperature and solute concentration fields in the vicinity of the solid-liquid and the growth rate were simultaneously measured by microscopic interferometers.
Initial transient behavior in directional solidification of a bulk transparent model alloy in a cylinder
To characterize the dynamical formation of three-dimensional (3-D) arrays of cells and dendrites under diffusive growth conditions, in situ monitoring of a series of experiments on a transparent succinonitrile–0.24 wt.% camphor model alloy was carried out under low gravity in the Device for the Study of Critical Liquids and Crystallization (DECLIC) Directional Solidification Insert on board the International Space Station (ISS). The present paper focuses on the study of the transient solid–liquid interface recoil. Numerical thermal modeling led us to identify two thermal contributions to the interface recoil that increase with the pulling rate and add to the classical recoil associated with the solute boundary layer formation. As a consequence of those additional contributions, the characteristic front recoil is characterized by a fast initial transient followed by stabilization to a plateau whose location depends on pulling rate. The analysis of comparative experiments carried out on the ground shows the absence of stabilization of the interface position, attributed to longitudinal macrosegregation of the solute induced by convection. This behavior is surprisingly also observed in space experiments for low pulling rates. An order of magnitude analysis of the mode of solute transport reveals that for these conditions, the effective level of reduced gravity on board the ISS is not sufficiently low to suppress convection so that the interface recoils with longitudinal macrosegregation in a similar way as in ground experiments.